PETALING JAYA: Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has suggested that former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will return to politics as president of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s new party.
“I am happy to learn from inside sources that he has decided to continue with politics by becoming president of the new party.
“I understand that it will be an all Malay or Bumiputra party that will be somewhat similar to Umno. This is a good development as it will broaden the Opposition coalition,” the former minister said in a blog post on Thursday
It was previously anticipated that Muhyiddin would helm Dr Mahathir’s new party, with former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal serving as his deputy.
Shafie has, however, stated that he turned down the offer by Muhyiddin to be the deputy president in Dr Mahathir’s new party.
Zaid went on to say that a political party could be based on one ethnic group so long as it was not racist, narrow-minded and extreme in its actions.
“What we need is a Malay-based party that is inclusive and progressive, and that has all the attributes of a party of the future.
“It must be positive in its outlook and eschew hatred and bigotry. It must be a party that cares about the people, and that works to unite and not divide the nation,” he said.
However, Zaid said his main concern about the party was the willingness of the other Opposition parties and their respective leaders to accept Muhyiddin as a leader and the prime minister designate.
“What we need now is a leader and a future prime minister who can take over the administration of this country,” he added.
He said that at present the Opposition parties lacked a leader who could unite them.
“The truth is they all think they are strong enough to unite the Opposition and stem the lack of mutual trust that has marred their collaboration, but they are not,” he said, adding that all the Opposition parties should support Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s proposal for snap state polls.
He said if the Opposition could not win now, it is unlikely that even less likely that they could win the 14th general election.
On Muhyiddin’s tasks as a leader, Zaid said the former Umno deputy president would have to talk to all parties, including PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, before giving his own views.
“If Muhyiddin says that the Opposition should include PAS, then everyone must fall into line. Likewise, if he says PAS is unreliable and is in cahoots with Umno, then we must accept that position and prepare ourselves for a three-cornered fight,” he said.